‘A vamp character like Bholi has never been written’ ~ Richa Chadda
I have stopped looking at characters as male and female. ~ Richa Chadda
Richa Chadda is one of the most talented actors in Indian Cinema currently. The reason for her success is not just her acting skills but her ideologies with which she choses her films and her personal opinions that influence her characters. She believes that we need to look at characters as people before stereotyping them based on their gender. She brought a lot of power to Fukrey and we can only imagine how dynamic Bholi Punjaban is going to be in Fukrey Returns.
How easy or difficult was it to slip into Bholi’s character again after all these years?
It’s very liberating to play this character. She does not have any sort of restrictions in her head of how to behave. She does not have the pressure of being lady like. It is fun to be a part of comedy after a bunch of serious things.
How did you prepare the first time for this character when you were still starting out in films as opposed to now, after having played so many characters? Do you need lesser time and effort to prepare for roles now?
It’s not like that. One starts to evolve and understand the craft and ones own limitations better. You slowly start moving from character to character. I wouldn’t say I took less time than before. I took as much time. The only thing is that it’s easier to slip into the character because the previous film felt more like a setup as opposed to now.
I think I enjoy a well-written character.
Are there any additions to Bholi’s character that are your inputs?
Some dialogues for sure. Some elements like, when we were shooting the first film we thought since she’s so fierce she should have the element of animal print in her wardrobe. Her hair should be funky. So small quirks like that.
What genre in acting do you enjoy the most? Comedy, Drama or Negative roles?
I think I enjoy a well-written character. One that I can juice. In the absence of that I try to create my own subtext and elements for the character. That’s when it becomes fun. One-dimensional characters are no fun to watch. When a sensible person has a petty superstition then it is interesting. When a quirky character has a soft spot, it’s fun.
..Let’s not restrict ourselves due to conditioning.
Is there a sense of empowerment that comes with being a female character in the film, terrorizing all these male characters?
She’s a criminal that is why she is terrorizing. She’s been a criminal since was a teenager. She’s not someone you can have a coffee with or have an intellectual conversation with. So in that way she’s true to her character.
Why do you think the story requires a female antagonist?
Why not? I don’t think we would question it if it were a male antagonist. I have stopped looking at characters as male and female. She’s a mafia first, and she’s tough. Conventionally this would be a role of a man but let’s not restrict ourselves due to conditioning. A vamp character like Bholi has never been written. Either the vamps are cabaret dancers or mother in laws. Bholi in Fukrey was an interesting element to add.
You’ve done a varied range of roles. What is it that you’ve wanted to do when you initially became an actor that you still haven’t done?
Lots of song and dance. Because it’s fun and I enjoy that too.
How is Fukrey Returns bigger as a second installment to a successful first part?
It’s definitely bigger and better. I can say that confidently now since we had a cast and crew screening yesterday and we’ve seen the film. So I can be sure that it’s fun. It’s something everyone will enjoy, everyone will laugh at. It’s something you can enjoy with your family. It’s quite rare that the sequel is better than the original. But that’s how it is. We all have great chemistry. We all sort of have owned our skills, come together, our timing is better. In its space it is definitely a more evolved film than the first part. It is not a Masaan, it is not Woody Allen funny, it is not dark, it is not slapstick. But it’s got its own humor. It has punch lines, it has gags. It’s funny because the characters are funny. The characters are funny individually and as you get to know them, you see their individual quirks makes the platter fun. It’s like when you see ‘Friends’, you start characterizing the quirks in every characters. You know Monica has OCD and that Joey is a flirt and Phoebe is a certain way and it’s because of all these characters that show is fun and people start laughing at specific things associated with these characters. The great thing about Fukrey is that the milieu is Delhi, the characters are not unrealistic. They are written how they would be in reality. So that relatability makes everything funny.